Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 56, September 2012
Recently Mrs Marjory Sewell, (nee Millar) visited Paeroa and handed the Editor bound copies of the Ohinemuri Gazette, January 14, 1893, to September 2, 1893.
While the Ohinemuri Gazette was first published on December 17, 1891, the first 12 months, 1892, are held by the National Library in Wellington. From 1896 onwards was held in Paeroa at the newspaper office and, when this closed, by the Paeroa and District Museum. The Ohinemuri Gazettes for 1893, 1894 and 1985 were missing and it was believed they could have been destroyed in the newspaper office fire in 1908.
Mrs Sewell said that when she worked at the newspaper office late 1940-early 1950s she had taken the "book" home to do some research. When she moved to Tauranga the "book" got packed away with her and her family's belongings and it did not surface until some years later. It was during the recent nostalgic visit she saw the chance to return the "book".
It would now seem that these missing Gazettes may not have been destroyed in the 1908 fire and hopefully are held by local families. Please have a look among the family heirlooms and treasures in an endeavour to locate the missing newspapers.
The Ohinemuri Gazettes, 1896 to 1921 and the Hauraki Plains Gazettes, from 1922 to 1975, were the only copies of the newspaper held in New Zealand. The Paeroa and District Historical Society reached agreement with the National Library to have these papers microfilmed. At present all the Ohinemuri Gazettes have been processed and now available on-line in Papers Past, New Zealand. The Hauraki Plains Gazette, from 1922 to 1965, have also been microfilmed. Eventually all the issues of the Gazette, Ohinemuri, Hauraki Plains, Thames Valley and Paeroa, from 1891 to 2004, will be available at the Museum for research purposes.
The Society is seeking a special micro-film reader for the Paeroa and District Museum to enable the Gazettes to be available for research by the public.